Five associated things, list two

  • Feb. 26th, 2009 at 9:21 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (anne/diana)
Five things [livejournal.com profile] phantoms_siren associates with me:

I'm not sure exactly how to address these, except to wonder, at least a little, why Phantoms associates them with me. Which is sort of the most interesting part, and I'd be interested in her thoughts on the subject.

Clear skies
I live in Seattle, which is known for its rain and overcast cloudscape. But what no one tells you (presumably for fear the city will be inundated by newbies like me) is that the summers are GLORIOUS. It's not hot enough (generally) to need air conditioning, and not humid enough either. So you open your windows and enjoy three months of temperate summer. The grass dies, but it always comes back. And the days are long, but not so long I can't sleep.

Even so, I find I miss the cloudy weather when we go a long time without it. I like how it feels to sit on the couch reading, or watching X-Files, with the light outside all diffused and dim.

Still, clear skies in Seattle is a far different thing than clear skies in Florida. Which spell sunburn and a sad absence of my favorite Florida feature, the 3 o'clock thunderstorm. I love being able to see the mountains in the distance, and Rainier looming over the city, and airplanes. I love seeing airplanes in the sky, because every time I do it reminds me how truly amazing they are. Big hunks of metal that fly.

Blue roses
I'm not sure I've ever seen a blue rose. I expect they're very unusual. I once knew someone who claimed she'd have blue roses at her wedding; for the life of me, I can't remember now who that was. According to Wikipedia, efforts to breed blue roses resulted in something like lilac until genetic engineering made all our dreams come true; though apparently not very well.

The other day I watched The Thief of Bagdad (1940) which included a "Blue Rose of Forgetfulness." I also recall one pinned to the lapel of Lil's red dress, in Fire Walk With Me, but I can't remember what it means. According to the Victorian Language of Flowers, a blue rose means "mystery, attaining the impossible."

I am nothing like a rose, much less the impossible blue one.

Peppermint
I have never been a huge fan of peppermint. Perhaps it is too strong; of the minty candy/gum flavors, I prefer wintergreen, and I do not enjoy hard peppermints of the sort you get at restaurants. Peppermint patties have far too great a peppermint-to-chocolate ratio.

I think peppermint works much better as an aspect of something, like fudge or ice cream or a chocolate mint Hershey bar. Yes, I am too weak for peppermint.

Brocade
There is a great discrepancy between things I like aesthetically and what I present to the world. Somehow I've decided that while I appreciate many fine things and enjoy dressing up if it is a costume, I am lying to the world unless I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Perhaps it is a matter of physical comfort, but I suspect it's largely mental.

That said, I think brocade would be a bit much, in any event, and hard to be subtle about. When I was younger, in the full throes of my 19th century literature/Phantom of the Opera phase, I wanted to decorate everything far too richly for my tastes now. I even bought a length of paisley fabric I was going to make curtains out of (or something--I can't imagine what I was thinking). But somewhere along the way my habits got simpler and simpler and now the most extravagant I get is painting each room a different color, with solid curtains on the windows.

But why? Why shouldn't I mix and match? I love rooms where nothing goes together--it's a matter of allowing that free reign in my own space. Which has very little to do with brocade, I suppose, but the only other thing brocade makes me think of is ValMalkovich.

Sea spray
Growing up, my father was mad about sailing. Finally, at some point during my teen years, he bought a boat. It was a 22' Catalina, and we kept it in Casco Bay in Maine. We lived in New Hampshire at the time, so weekends consisted of driving up to it and poking around the islands.

With sailing, it's all about the journey. Or so I'm told. I quickly got bored with it, because I nearly always want to get somewhere. It's not that I don't appreciate the journey, but when the journey is very much the same for hours and the sun is beating down on you, making you drowsy and a little sick, it's hard to keep that frame of mind. Later he bought a 33' Ranger for taking my grandfather (and me and my uncles) to Cuba, which he then sold, and sold the house, so he and my mother could move onto a much larger sailboat which they now live on. I guess that's his dream.

People often express an affinity for one element or another. I've never really known, except I don't think I'm Fire. Or Earth, really, though I may be fooling myself. But while I love the sea, I love watching it more than being on/in it. I love rocky coastlines, where the waves crash and little things get caught in tidepools and lighthouses warn off ships. The beach holds little interest for me at all. But every time I'm back in Rhode Island or Maine I go to Ocean Drive or Ogunquit and climb around on the rocks.

Five associated things, list one

  • Feb. 25th, 2009 at 12:41 PM
my_daroga: Orson Welles (orson)
Five things [livejournal.com profile] inlaterdays associates with me:

Photography
I started "seriously" taking photos in March of 2005, when I visited Seattle for the first time and brought Mr. Daroga's 80's Minolta with me. The photos in the daffodil fields in Skagit county were sort of a revelation; I realized I loved how they looked, and that I had taken them. (That particular lens, too, has a quality I fear I cannot match with my digital.) I joined DeviantArt, and started taking more photos, and spent a lot of money on film and developing.

Sometimes I think of "doing something" with photography, only I don't know what. I haven't made a disciplined study of it, and I'm not sure what direction I'd want to go. I love candid shots, street scenes, taking photos of little things no one notices. I haven't delved much into studio or portrait work, because I guess my documentary impulse is stronger. I'd love to find some direction here, and really learn what works and what doesn't.

Phantom of the Opera
Ah,imagine my not-surprise that this came up. But what to elaborate upon?

I guess what comes to mind most strongly is how I've attempted to "reclaim" POTO fandom--I don't mean externally, from someone else, but for myself. To have a fandom I can operate in. The source itself seems to matter less, aside from the fact that I feel comfortable within it because I know it very well (I love Buffy, too, for example, but feel ill-equipped memory-wise to write or participate). Also, Phantom fandom is small enough to make a little splash in, which (as you know) I have tried to do. It's less, maybe, that I'm still obsessed with the story/characters and more that I still find them useful/interesting enough to build that interaction around. It's something consistent I can go back to and mine. That said, I don't actually feel that any given version of it (even Leroux) is a masterpiece. Which is probably why it's allowed for so much expression over the years. You can't do much with perfection; it's the flawed that can stand to be tinkered with.

Dogs
I have always loved dogs, for as long as I can remember. When I was a baby, we had an Old English named Tuppence who (I am told) guarded me while I slept and cleaned my face off after I ate. We had to give her away when I was 6 months old and we moved to Saudi Arabia, but I romantically half-believe that experience set me up for life. (As a side note, I also romantically think my un-remembered year in Arabia set me up for Lawrence.) I am far more likely to notice dogs than people on the street. I remember specific dogs at the dog park, but never their owners. I suppose love of dogs is fairly common because they have been engineered to be perfect companions: at their best, they are obedient, respectful, true, multi-purpose, and aesthetically pleasing. I like cats, too--in fact, I like all animals--and I love having both for different reasons. But I will always put dogs first, if given the choice.

As to what I like in dogs, specifically, I especially appreciate functionality. I don't mean I need a dog to pull a sled or flush game or keep my sheep, but that it bothers me very much that we've bred dogs who cannot survive on their own. All the bulldogs, pugs, dachshunds, etc into whom we've intentionally bred health problems seems, to me, to be abuse, plain and simple. Maybe you think they're cute, and maybe the fact that they're pets means survival isn't an issue, but it bothers me that we've twisted these creatures for no other end than we think it's adorable that their faces are squished so they can't breath and their bodies are deformed so they can't run properly or give birth naturally.

As to my more personal preferences, they tend towards the working/herding group, the sheepdogs and such. I find those qualities to be more advantageous for home life (sticking around, guarding, etc) than the prey-driven and running-off breeds. Overall, though, I love the mutt, and I think that given the fact I've been successful in rehabilitating a problem dog, it's my duty to do so whenever I can.

Writing
As you may have noticed, writing and I have a bit of a troubled relationship. I love it when it goes well, because it's easy. I hardly ever edit anything, and I've been rewarded fine (both academically and fandom-wise) for not being terribly careful. I don't mean I'm sloppy, or that I'm not working at it, but most of what I put out there has been tweaked very little between my brain and your eyes. So I've learned some fairly bad habits, and haven't learned the value of careful editing and plotting and all that.

That's probably why most of my stuff is short. I don't let you see the longer stuff, because it would take more work, and I haven't gotten my head wrapped around, say, rewriting my Phantom novella.

I'm always of two minds about what I want to write, as well. I know full well I've no aspirations to greatness, to literary merit. Most of my favorite books aren't "literary classics," they're whatever moves me. If I could affect someone the same way, I'd be happy. But at the same time, part of me doesn't seem to want to accept this. It's not exactly conscious, but I'm blocked a lot of the time from just going wild and writing what I'd probably want to, if I thought about it.

Orson Welles
I think the thing that draws me to Orson Welles is the complexity and contradiction of him. He was multi-talented, an actor, writer, director, artist, everything. He was an attractive man who is "not my type." And he's at the center of controversy, even today, about what he means to his field(s) and no two books you read about him will paint the same picture. In fact, there are opposing camps of Welles scholars, some of whom seem to want to deny him any agency in his work at all, and some of whom want to excuse his every indulgence. His "failure" is either entirely his fault, or entirely the world's. Of course, most are somewhere in the middle.

In this, he reminds me of the last historical individual I was obsessed with, T.E. Lawrence. Multi-talented, a little (or very) odd, and ultimately disappointed by life, leaving an uncertain legacy that will be argued over for generations. I wonder if that quality is what attracts me, and what it is about that that does. It's true that on my bookshelf, these two men are the only people who take up a comparable amount of space, though in personality/interest/scope they're nothing alike.

What I've read about Welles really makes me like him. I don't think he was perfect, or blameless, or any of that. But he's delightful, even sometimes in his arrogance (and who's to say some of it wasn't earned). And while some consider his acting "hammy," I think he's one of the most charming people I've ever seen on screen, even when the movies are bad. Dirty little secret: my current affair with him actually began as a result of my using his image (this icon, in fact) as the avatar for a male Carlotta-figure for an rp. That character has taken on a life of his own, but he sparked a re-examination of Welles' work for me which prompted... well, what you see.

I could go on for days on any of these! So feel free to discuss, if I said anything interesting.

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